Modern life means that for many, eating has become more of a habit than a necessity. Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Snacks galore, we eat at every opportunity, and the result is we simply eat too much! We all know this, so why don’t we stop? Why is the world seeing a dramatic rise in obesity, diabetes, heart problems, dementia, and many more?
When I say modern life, I’m mean predominantly over the last two hundred years and exponentially growing in that time. There seem to be two main reasons in contemporary life. Firstly intensive farming and engineering foodstuff, both animal and vegetable. Second, Ultra-high processed foods.
The National Geographical stated that some seven billion people are fed through these farming practices. As there are nearly eight billion people worldwide and growing, what happens to the odd billion? I can only guess! But that’s another issue!
Obviously, without these developing methods of intensive food production, we wouldn’t survive in today’s consumer society. Plus, the foodstuff perse isn’t bad for us.
The problem isn’t the food source. It’s more to do with what we do with it!
We have all heard the term processed food. We most likely think of it as a bad thing, but we all process food in reality. We peel, chop, mash, mix, cook and bake all the time. This is food processing. In fact, this is what the experts tell us we should be doing more of, and I agree! That is if we use basic, whole ingredients, but we don’t. Most of the ingredients we use are already highly processed.
Highly processed food is where foodstuff in its natural state is reduced to its components. Then further modified, shaped, flavourings, Sugar, salt, fats, chemical preservatives and bulking agents added and bingo, we get a supermarket full of ready meals, snacks, confectionery, processed meats, cakes, and the list goes on.
We all like this stuff; it tastes ok when you get used to it! Believe me, your body soon gets used to it and wants more. It’s almost like food addiction! Could this be in the food design? The answer is yes, and here is the reason why.
Our bodies are not designed to eat highly processed food. We are intended to eat natural, and our bodies have developed over millions of years to do this. When we eat normally, our bodies digest and deal with the food as it should. It is slowly broken down, and the individual chemicals our bodies need to survive are extracted and used. We feel full when we are full. We stay fuller for longer, and we pay that important, regular trip to the loo as we should!
Highly processed food takes out the middle man, that being you! The food is already broken down. It is pre-digested for us. The mush you take in, in that nicely shaped whatever, instantly become mush again inside. Our body doesn’t have to do that much to extract what it needs. I think you can imagine what other aspects of this are likely to be.
Now, this is only a part of the problem. The central aspect is that much of the highly processed food is very high in carbohydrates. Check out the ingredients; it doesn’t take long. Often you will see carbohydrates as the highest ingredient. Below is usually the words.. of which Sugar?
This is a fuel source for the body and contributes to the majority of the calories.
We all know about calories and are most likely fed up with hearing about them.
Here is just one thing that I know. When I exercise by going out on my Trike, a unique manual wheelchair, which is like bench pressing or doing press-up to move. I have to travel one mile to use around one hundred calories. Use this to check out the calories in some of your favourite goodies.
Highly processed food is, more often than not, very high in calories. The body will store all the fuel not used as fat. We have a growing problem with obesity, diabetes, heart-related issues, hypertensive kids, and many other highly processed food-related problems.
The intake of highly processed food means that our bodies are trying to burn calories constantly. It must be like having our inner furnace, not burning nice and gently keeping us just right, but raging flat out all the time.
So, highly processed food gives us high calories, inflammation and bypasses our body’s natural processes.
I’m only saying that eating highly processed food is bad if you eat it all the time! I love chocolate, crisps and many other things, but I don’t eat them every day. I don’t live on a highly processed food diet.
I mentioned addiction earlier, and this is related to highly processed foods too. This instant intake of fuel means our sugar levels shoot up, and as fast at they go up, they just as quickly return. However, on returning, they will plummet below your usual level. The result is you get a craving for that foodstuff again. That high processed bag of crisp does for the moment, and the cycle begins but just gets worse. You can eat and eat and still feel hungry.
Highly processed food continually taken will, over time, cause you major health problems!
So, what do I do?
For me, food is about five things; natural ingredients, the process, texture, taste, and look!
I’m not a fan of these pretentious so-called master chefs that spend hours messing with stuff, sweating all over the food and ending with a pea on a slate, with a dash of sauce, or should that be jus and a twig for garnish. I like wholesome food that looks good, tastes even better and leaves you satisfied!
I try and eat when I’m hungry and not by the clock. I know this isn’t easy for all with work commitments.
I don’t have breakfast. I often felt I was forcing myself to eat because I thought my body needed fuel, but I realised my body already had a good supply of fuel stored on me.
I also realised that once I had eaten, I would start to feel peckish and nibble my way through to the next meal. I now know that this is most likely the sugar rush from those hight processed foods I was talking about. Those sweet cereals so abundant in the supermarket!
It took a few weeks for my body to get used to this. My body was used to getting a fresh supply of mush first thing, but this soon settled down. I have no problem when exercising or doing any related mental tasks.
I eat after around twelve, but it’s not set in stone, and sometimes it will be a bit before, but more often later. The other thing is, I enjoy that meal! This is when I have my main meal.
Now, I’m lucky that one of my carers is my daughter, and she is an excellent cook. I have several meals prepared for me, following the natural side of things.
I try and eat a small meal before six, which is the last thing I eat for the day. This might be fish and chips done in the air fryer. Crackers and cheese, or soup. This just depends on how I feel.
I love fruit, although many think this is high in sugar and not good. I don’t eat it all the time, it’s natural, and my body likes it!
I also like Keifer, which I’ve been kept going for a long time. It is an acquired taste, but I now separate the curds and whey and use it all the time.
The other thing is keto bread. This is just bread made with no grain flour. I’ve been making this for a while now and still mess around with the mix. It takes about five minutes, and I can make it sweet or plain. It makes a decent bun to go with many things.
My main focus is low carbs. I try to eliminate as much of the highly processed food as I can from my diet, but this isn’t easy. It is everywhere and in everything.
Now as I said, I like treats! Eccles cakes, pasties, cakes, chocolate and all the other things that are just nice. However, I have these as a treat once in a while, and that’s the answer. As a treat now and again, it is excellent. I think this makes those treats so much nicer and so more enjoyable. I usually have these when friends and family visit, and to share them is a magical thing too!
If you have any comments or questions, please let me know?
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